Archive for 2010

The Resurgence in Popularity of the Pin-Up Girl

Guest posting by Maggie Ewles

In the fashion world, trends are cyclical. What's in right now will soon be out, but back in a few years from now. That's just how things work.  So, in a sense, nobody should be surprised to see the 1940s-influenced styles starting to make a big comeback in the fashion world. With blogs like , Bobbins and Bombshells and Living Vintage showcasing the growing popularity of vintage sensibilities we can see the influence that this trend is having on contemporary designers. But there's something much more interesting going on with the resurgence of the classic pin-up girl and interest in pin up related culture.

Your typical pin-up girl photo spread featured a buxom model with natural curves, reposing in a suggestive, yet tasteful pose. She typically wore clothing, swimwear or lingerie that was revealing, yet still left plenty to the imagination. It is the innocence and naturalization of feminine sexuality that defines these iconic images.

In the 1950s, during the heyday of the pin-up girl, the world was still fairly uncomfortable with female sexuality. While the cusp of the sexual revolution was just a decade away, repressive rules and strict publishing governance were still the norm, and the pin-up girl was the closest thing the mainstream world had to an acceptable expression of male desire and female beauty. Thank goodness for the wildness that was Betty Page! Thanks to her pioneering efforts, fabulous folk like Dita Von Teese and Scarlet Johansson are celebrated for their curves and alternative beauty.

It's interesting that, in today's hyper-sexualized world, tasteful expressions of sensuality and sexuality are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. The Pin Up Peep Shop believes ìPin up fashion and art wouldÖ rise again with the help of independent burlesque troupes during the mid nineties, as well as the underground resurgence of Rockabilly and Swing music amongst many younger people who would mix the fashions popular with these music fans, along with vintage pin up fashion. The most published pinup artists were Elvgren and Vargas whose original pinup art is highly sought after todayî and those people seeking to embrace a pin up aesthetic often turn to their iconic images.

Burlesque troops, Stars and classes and organizations have sprung up all over the globe and fashions are trending more towards the styles of the pin up. Swimwear and lingerie designers are featuring full, high waist bottoms with low cut legs and luxury fabrics that are a welcome change from the drab, utilitarian, cottons of the 90ís.  Finally we have teddies, garters and slips in elegant gossamer fabrics with stunning lace and ribbon details. The clothing is easily attainable through online shopping at stores such as Unique Vintage, The Babygirl Boutique, Lolita Girl and Lucy B.

There are several interesting reasons this is happening. First, as any sex expert or psychologist will tell you, the brain is the most important sex organ. Study after study has shown that a woman wearing suggestive and revealing clothing is more arousing than a fully nude woman. With pictures and videos of naked women engaging in everything from fairly innocent stripteases to full-on sex becoming easier to access than ever, it was really just a matter of time before people reverted to less graphic representations of sexuality and sought out ways to reintroduce themselves to the world of arousal and intimacy.

Second, the world has been bombarded with images of ultra-thin women for decades, and this beauty standard has dominated both the fashion world and the pop culture mainstream. Todayís pin-up girl models can also be viewed as something of a backlash against that impossible, unattainable ideal. It's a celebration of the beauty of natural women with real curves and real bodies. Full figures and curves are sexual and sexy. According to Lauren Wise ìNowadays, a pinup model is revered as a pioneer for women's sexuality and feminine power, and many women respect that and live their lives by it. They dress like the old style pinup girls and wear similar makeup and accessories. They represent female confidence and power, which is very attractive in the 21st century.

Finally, you can also view this revival as being tied in with fashion commercialism. The fact is that very few women have bodies like stick-thin supermodels, and most women not only have curves but want to celebrate them. Making real bodies more visible in mainstream pop culture is not only boosting the self-esteem of women everywhere, it's also boosting sales of average- to plus-sized fashions.

Maggie Ewles is passionate about getting women back in touch with the glamorous aesthetic of the vintage pin up model. She adores retro swimwear and vintage lingerie for the way they showcase her curves and connect her to that alluring era.

Photography by Elizabeth Warmisham


Some of the garments used in this shoot are from the Indian Summer collection. The other garments are one off swimwear pieces. Next year i am looking to introduce a swimwear range so any suggestions/ comments would be greatly appreciated!

These photos were shot in natural light using a UV filter to create some interesting effects. The photos were shot in Spain.

Model: Marina Dean-Francis

The photographer was the incredibly talented Elizabeth Warmisham.

Beauty Shoot using some of the new collection

Some of the pieces from the new collection (out soon) were used for a beauty shoot a couple weeks ago. (hence why they are close ups and you cant see much of the garments... thought i would show you a bit of a preview of what to expect) The shoot was organized by top make up artist Adele Coxon. 

Photography by gozZee. Hair by Ashleigh Turner. Model: Sarah Beake

I've been really busy lately and will have lots of exciting things to share with you over the next couple of months. The new collection is being shot at the end of the week so i will give you a peak when i get the photos back, I'm also sending some pieces off for a shoot in Spain which will be next week - very excited to see the results. And i have a few other things lined up so watch this space.


More pics from the Indian Summer range

Biscuiteers... delicious underwear

Whilst this underwear may not be wearable it certainly is yummy.

My mum sent me a biscuit card for my birthday and i thought it was such a good idea.
They do lots of different themed biscuits so there's something for everyone: shoes for the shoe lovers - my twin sister got one of those. There's some for children's birthday and any special occasion.


Above is the biscuit card i got for my birthday.

As its just been London Fashion week i thought i would share the clutch bag fashion week inspired biscuit with you too.

Check out the website here

"Biscuit cards are a completely new idea. If you’re looking for a memorable way to say 'Thank you', 'Get well', 'Congratulations' or even 'I love you', why not send a biscuit card instead?"

"Beautifully packaged in a smart white box with pink paper lining, you can send your own personal message and a wonderful treat at the same time"

Biondi Couture placement

As a lot of you know i am still a student at De Montfort University studying Contour Fashion - just about to start my final year! Part of the course was to get a work placement over the summer. I manages to get a months placement at Biondi couture on old church street, Chelsea (a few doors away from the Manolo Blahnik shop).

I was a bit nervous about the placement and wasn't sure what to expect of what kind of jobs i would have to do but i really enjoyed my time there. Although the commuting sucked and there were times when there wasnt a lot for me to do i got a lot out of my placement and left feeling really inspired.

Not ony does biondi stock some lovely swimwear brands, they also offer a bespoke service to create your a perfectly fitting costume or bikini to your taste and requirements. During my placement i got to help out on the shop floor as well as help out with the sewing, make alterations to swimsuits, and work on line sheets for Biondi's mens swimwear range. I also got to sit in on a buyer meeting with la perla and made my own reservable bikini.

I get to design and make both lingerie and swimwear on my course but have always found swimwear more difficult and always struggle to find stuff that i like, working at biondi opened my eyes to a lot of brands that i had never heard of such as Karla Colletto. 

The following images are from the Karla Colletto website which i would seriously recommend checking out, they soing some of the nicest swimwear i have seen in a very long time and im sure you will be equally impressed, the swimwear is quite pricey but when it makes you look that good i would say its soooo worth it!

I adore these swimsuits, they are modern enough for younger women to wear too and give great support and coverage whilst still looking very fashionable and on trend.


Kent Charity Catwalk for Macmillan Cancer Support

So after months of organizing the catwalk the day finally arrived!
There were a few glitches - a designer dropped out the day before and a few of the models dropped out to illness and an accident on the motor-way which prevented them to get there in time. 
Thankfully we managed to find a couple last minute stand ins - Paris Kelly and Julie Anderson who did a fantastic job and luckily nobody in the audience could tell.
We were so lucky to have such an amazing group on board to help out, there were 3 make up artists: Lily-Mae Smith, Hannah Tipping and Amelia Hudson and some very talented hair stylists: Tina Cozens and her team from Blond-E hair and beauty salon in the Meads.
Uk paper Leisure Club very kindly let us use their hall and were extremely helpful, setting out the chairs and even letting us use their red carpet for the model to walk down.
The host Rosie Harris was great warming the audience up and introducing the designers.

The first designer of the evening to showcase her work was Leeanne Ripley- winner of the Radical designer award 2010. Leeanne graduated after studying Fashion Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, Kent. Previously to this she studied at North West Kent college for two years gaining a BTEC National Diploma in Fashion Design.

Next up was the beautiful creation of Stuart Mcmillan. This collection was based on the deconstruction of traditionally tailored clothes; Exposing the beautiful work of the ‘Tailor’. Using tailoring materials such as Melton, Horsehair canvas and Camel hair canvas the form is molded to the body and encased in a transparent layer of chiffon. Draped Georgette softens the exacting tailored shoulders as jacket detailing takes influences from traditional men’s dress. Stuart McMillan works as a womenswear designer in Italy and also as a fashion Lecturer in London. The host Rosie Harris also wore one of Stuarts dresses on the night.

I was the third designer to show. I have been working on a new collection based on the british county side. The pieces are made using a floral printed cotton, red satin and green velvet. These pics are of some of the nightwear pieces from the new collection, i will have some better pics coming soon to show you.

Susannah Henleys designs were next on the runway. Susannah graduated in 2008 with a BA(Hons) Fashion Design from UCA Rochester, Susannah has spent a year researching, business planning and a few months internship at Emilio De La Morena. How garments fit and how they make you feel are extremely important to Susannah, therefore comfortable elegance is key. Also encorporating soft tailoring in outerwear and trousers complements the look. Susannah designs her own digitally printed fabric which adds to the uniqueness of her collections. 

To close the catwalk was Megann'e Murrins creations. Her collection is called Alien Armour and im sure you can see why this name might have been chosen. Neoprene and Leather have been used for most of the collection and feathers have been added for that dromatic feel and to create show pieces as well as wearable pieces.

After the catwalk was over Rosie announced the winners of the silent auction.
One woman bid over £100 for a pair of irregular choice shoes donated by Marina and the Diamonds, and the item which raised the most amount of money was a pair of Ophelia Fancy Knickers which reached an incredible £200!

In total we managed to raise and amazing £1332.20 for Macmillan Cancer Support and the evening was a success, i will definitely be making this an annual event and will aim on making it a bigger and better event each year.

Massive thank you to everyone who helped out- Kelly May- who helped organize the event,  the beautiful models, hair stylists and makeup artists, uk paper, the djs - p&m roadshow, photographers & everyone who donated prizes for the raffle and silent auction as-well as everyone who attended.

The designers & host at the end of the show

Megann'e, Leeanne, Host Rosie Harris wearing a dress by Stuart Mcmillan, Susannah, Myself & Stuart


My Fair Lady Lingerie Photographed by Michael SD

These photos of my new Indian Summer collection were taken by the very talented Michael SD. There will be more to come. The photos are up on my website where the collection is available to purchase. You can view more of Michael SDs work here.

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